In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to on my mission to visit every single country in the world. In this article, we will be covering country #40: Portugal. If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN-recognized countries.
Portugal is the first country in Europe I have ever visited. My time there is going to be short at only 9-hours long. That’s because I’m only stopping in Lisbon on a layover on my way to Warsaw in Poland. My goal here is to see the famous Quinta da Regaleira. There’s just one problem which I’ll find out soon enough when I landed at the Lisbon airport.
VIDEO – Country #40: Portugal
Blog post on Portugal
- Why Lisbon Portugal is the Perfect Place to Have a Flight Layover
- My Complete Portugal, Slovakia, and Hungary Spending Breakdown
Arriving in Lisbon
It was around 5 am by the time I arrived in Lisbon. I had just flown several hours from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil which completes the South America segment of my one year trip. I was looking forward to my first European country. Especially after travelling so rough in South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
I purposely made Europe my last stop so I can savor western amenities and civilization once again.
What I really want to see in Portugal is Quinta da Regaleira. Unfortunately for me, it’s not open until 10 am. There’s no way I can make it without the big risk of missing my flight. I’ll have to skip it and go to the city centre instead.
Taking the bus to the centre of Lisbon
I felt disappointed that I’m missing Quinta da Regaleira because who knows when I’ll come back to Portugal again. It might be a long time from now.
On the bright side, I had checked in my big backpack to go to my next destination. Since I’m not carrying anything heavy, I have the freedom to explore Lisbon.
Immediately, I purchased a ticket with the Aerobus which set me back 4 Euros. The Lisbon bus system is pretty easy to use and takes you to all the major tourist destinations.
Sao Jorge Castle is closed
I set my eyes to see Sao Jorge Castle because I’m a sucker for anything medieval. As I made my way there, I soon realized that it was closed. It wasn’t going to be open until 9 am.
Damn, another bad luck on my end.
I did manage to see a glimpse of it from the outside.
Nearby is the Lisbon Cathedral which I took some pictures on the outside before heading to the next set of landmarks.
Checking out major landmarks
I made my way towards the port taking pictures of the major sights I saw. These includes:
- Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta
- Praca Marques do Pombal
- King Joao I Statue
Besides the landmarks, I also admired the architecture in the city. Keep in mind that this is my first European city. As my trip in Europe progresses, I will start to think they all look the same.
My last stop in Lisbon is the Rossio Square. There are a ton of Asian tourists here. They all have their selfie sticks attached to their cell phones as they snapped away.
I didn’t have my selfie stick with me. I have disgraced my people. Joking aside, at this point, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Asian travellers. There’s certainly not many of them in South America outside of Peru and Bolivia. It was kind of nice blending in with other tourists instead of being stared at.
Flying to Switzerland
Before long, it was time to head back to the airport to grab a bite and to get ready to board the plane.
From here, I would have a connecting flight in Zurich before finally landing in Warsaw which is my first big destination in Europe.
Portugal is a neat country and not too difficult to travel to. Most people speak pretty good English so the language barrier is not a problem as well. I’d love to return one day and visit the Azores and Quinta da Regaleira.
But this might be a while unless I have another layover or short stopover there. I just don’t foresee myself coming back anytime soon unless I’m on a connecting flight there to some former Portuguese colonial African countries.